Movie Diary 2/23/2015

Song of the Sea (Tomm Moore, 2014). One of this year’s Oscar nominees from the Feature Animation category, and the follow-up from the studio that did Secret of the Kells. Gorgeous animation, but I can’t shake the feeling these guys are insisting on how valuable their stories are to the cultural literacy of the next generation, and all that. Sometimes you just want Bugs Bunny to come tearing through the place. (full review 2/25)

A Fuller Life (Samantha Fuller, 2013). Is Sam Fuller’s cult/auteur star fading in recent years? His survivors are reluctant to let that happen, so here’s his daughter pasting together an affectionate tribute to a one-of-a-kind man. The words are Fuller’s, taken from his posthumously-published memoir A Third Face, and read by a quirkily-chosen gallery of colleagues (including a good section of the main cast of The Big Red One – and the awesome Constance Towers). There’s also 16 mm. footage Fuller shot while he was part of the 1st Infantry Division. I hope this documentary makes a lot of unsuspecting people go straight to the movies. (full review 2/25)

Hard to Be a Girlhood (This Week’s Movies)

You Are Now In Arkandy: Aleksey German's Hard to Be a God

You Are Now In Arkanar: Aleksey German’s Hard to Be a God

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Hard to Be a God. “Everybody else looks miserable too.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly link here.)

Girlhood. “How these girls are brightened by their shared experience.” (Weekly version here.)

Some Oscar predictions for the Herald, 32nd annual edition.

More Overlook podcasts coming soon; stay tuned.

Leviathan Monk (This Week’s Movies)

Elena Liadova: Leviathan

Elena Liadova: Leviathan

Links to reviews I had published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly.

Leviathan. “A much bigger bowl of borscht.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly version here.)

R100. “Full-on gonzo nuttiness.” (Weekly version here.)

Monk with a Camera. “Close-to-surefire material to work with.” (Weekly version here.)

 

Movie Diary 2/9/2015

Monk with a Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland (Tina Mascara and Guido Santi, 2014). Vreeland is the grandson of Diana, the fashion maven, but found his way out of glamour and onto the path of enlightenment. Quite a solid documentary, and would you have guessed that Richard Gere is in it? You would have? Well, you were right. (full review 2/13)

Burgundy Mommy (This Week’s Movies)

Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D'Anna: The Duke of Burgundy

Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D’Anna: The Duke of Burgundy

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

The Duke of Burgundy. “Plenty to interest lepidopterists and kinksters alike.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly link here.)

Mommy. “Helter-skelter.” (Weekly link here.)

2015 Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts. “Serious.” (Weekly link here.)

Feb. 10, join me in the Buckeye State at the Lee Road branch library in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, for “The Movie Mashup: Wild Literary Adaptations on Film.” We’ll look some extreme examples of literary adaptation in film (how The Tempest became Forbidden Planet, how The Odyssey became O Brother, Where Art Thou) and what that tells us about both art forms. The talk is free, and begins at 7 p.m.; more info here.

Feb. 11, I’ll give the same talk at the Hancock Co. Central Library in Greenfield, Indiana, at 7 p.m – via Skype. Come on by, and we’ll virtually meet. More info here.

At the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I contrast the styles of The Duke of Burgundy and Mommy; give a listen here.

Movie Diary 2/4/2015

2015 Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts (various directors, 2013-14). One of those packages that plays in theaters before the Academy Awards. The quality is pretty high, but the subject matter grim to the point of (in a couple of cases) unbearable. This is just playing into the hands of whichever comedian is introducing the category at this year’s ceremony. (full review 2/6)

Two Days or Bucharest (This Week’s Movies)

Fabrizio Mangione, Marion Cotillard: Two Days, One Night

Fabrizio Mangione, Marion Cotillard: Two Days, One Night

Links to reviews I published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly.

Two Days, One Night. “Devastating.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly link here.)

When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism. “Movies about moviemaking don’t come much drier.” (Weekly version here.)

Black or White. “Slips definitively from character study to lecture.”

New Overlook podcast, where Steve Scher and I talk about the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night; listen here.

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